It is difficult for people who have never suffered from an addiction or mental health struggle to understand that even though your life is falling apart around you, the addiction/eating disorder/etc. feels safe and familiar. “It” feels like a friend. You have turned to it for both celebration and to face the pain. The idea of it not being there is terrifying because the fear is without it, you will be completely alone.
One of the questions I was recently asked about my life without my eating disorder was, “are you happy?” In my mind, the unspoken words were if I give up my “it” what will be on the other side? Is it really worth it to face the fear of the unknown and live life without my friend?
My answer was yes. I find joy today. I always wanted connection, and my disease lied to me and told me that it was not available to me. I could not be present when I was with other people because I was in my head battling those things when I was with you so I could not truly connect to another person. Now I can. I feel the joy of having relationship with others and being fully present in my skin.
The other part of my answer was that I can feel all feelings again. Joy was not available to me when I was in my disease. I was either off the charts anxious or numb. There was not much in between. Now I feel a whole spectrum of emotions and doing that enables me to have joy.
But I think the best part is the peace I feel inside. Each day isn’t a battle between choosing between life and the lies that my disease was telling me. There is an inner calm and stillness I never thought possible.
So is recovery worth it? Will there be happiness? Yes, without a doubt. I would not trade it for the world.